Diana Nesbitt

Always Go Deeper

Tag: Christmas

He Didn’t Come As a Royal King Should Have

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He didn’t come as a royal king should have
The High King of Heaven come down to earth
Unwelcomed by fanfare or clamoring crowds
Quietly humble, His miraculous birth

Curled up inside of a womb He’d created
No guards to protect this valuable life
Only to outcasts His birth was announced
By angels and a great star in the night

Prophets for centuries long had foretold it
A Savior would come, would be Emmanuel
But those in Bethlehem slept, unaware
That the promised Messiah had just joined them there

Creator condemned by His own creation
He carried our sorrows and bore all our shame
Unwelcomed, unwanted, they tried to dethrone Him
They murdered Him, still He continued to reign

Next time He comes it will be in His glory
He will take up His king’s place on the throne
All knees will bow, every tongue will adore Him
Saints will rejoice as He welcomes them home

He didn’t come as a royal king should have
But it wouldn’t have been right if He had
Not only a King, but a Saviour as well
He came not to rule but to save us from hell.

I hope your Christmas is filled with sweet meditations on the most loving and gracious Gift ever given- Jesus! Merry Christmas! 

The Inescapable Presence of Immanuel

DSC07762 Immanuel- the name given the Messiah, the Promised One who would come to earth to rescue His beloved creation from the horrid mess they had gotten themselves into.

Immanuel. God with us.

No man made religion can offer real closeness with the real God. Always, in the religions man has made up, we make it unattainably hard for ourselves to reach God.

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God, however, makes it easy. He reaches for us. The history of the world is nothing more than the story of God being Immanuel- God with us, God reaching for us.

He made a perfect world with perfect closeness between man and Himself. Man sinned and severed the relationship. God continued to make ways for man to know Him, and then finally, He sent the permanent solution to our sin problem. He gave us His dearly loved Son, withholding nothing in His pursuit of us. Then He sent His Spirit to indwell every person who accepts His gift of eternal life.

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I once heard a preacher say: “You can be as close to God as you want.”

He is God with us, the One who has done everything possible to make it easy for us to come close to Him. We’re the ones who build the barriers between us and God, with our sin, mistrust, and rejection of all the goodness He offers us.

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Still, His invitation is always going out. Christmas, the fascinating time of year when, in spite of all of people’s efforts to squelch the scandalous message that God loved us all enough to send His Son to die a brutal death to pay for our sin and be raised again so those who believe can have new life, that message, it goes out over loudspeakers in stores, and on the radio, the television, and the internet.

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That message, it travels at the speed of sound, and you can cover your ears against it but you can’t stop it from leaking out everywhere. The songs of the season carry the message, the crooners, the pop artists, and all the musicians are the unwitting carriers of the message that will rescue the whole world from darkness, if we’d all stop being afraid of the Light.

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You’re hard-pressed to evade it, this time of year, this message that has infiltrated every tradition surrounding this holiday. Santa Claus? =A generous Christian saint. Happy Holidays? Holiday=Holy Day.

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It’s no surprise- Paul says in Romans 10:8, “The message is near you, in your mouth and in your heart.” In the mouth of every person who has ever sung Silent Night or Joy to the World, in the ears of every person who has heard Linus recite the Christmas story on Charlie Brown Christmas.

If only everyone would stop and wonder about what they’re singing and hearing.

Inescapable Immanuel. You can leave Him, but He won’t leave you.

What relentless, generous love. Don’t run from it, embrace it.

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“Praise be to God for His unspeakable gift!” 2 Corinthians 9:15

Why It’s Okay If This Isn’t The Best Christmas Ever

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It’s inevitable. You’re innocently watching a Christmas movie. Something has just happened to heighten the anticipation for the yearly celebration, and somebody throws their arms into the air and exclaims “This is going to be the best Christmas ever!” I don’t know what your reaction to such a display is, but when I hear that I want to throw my head back and let out a Charlie Brown-sized “AAAAAUUGGHHHH!!!!!”, the writer within me cringing with disgust at the unfortunately common use of a clichè as stale as Granny’s fruitcake.

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The stockings were hung by the chimney with care in the hopes that Christmas would be perfect this year…

As clichè as the words may be, however, the sentiment is not.  At Christmas, more than any other time of year, there is a high level of anticipation. Part of this adds to the enjoyment of the holiday, and part of it also reflects the true celebration of the season very accurately -after all, the point of Christmas is to celebrate the coming of the long-awaited Messiah, and also to look forward to His second coming to earth. But somehow as the deadline draws nearer and the holiday to-do list grows, instead of focusing on the long-term things we are waiting for, our gaze drops and we find our focus drifting to the immediate future: December 25th. Somehow, with help from the movies, of course, the desire to have a magical, memorable Christmas wriggles its way into our hearts. We feel the pressure it places on us to carry out the special traditions, buy the perfect gifts, bake the most delicious cookies, and all the while working ourselves into “the Christmas spirit”.

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A delicate hope

However, there is a certain level of danger in such anticipation, because there’s no guarantee that our expectations for the perfect Christmas will be met. There’s a lot that could shrivel our hopes for the best Christmas ever: someone might get sick and not be well enough to carry out the special traditions, that perfect Christmas gift might get lost in the mail, or the cookies might burn. Even though we know better than to hang our hopes for a holly jolly Christmas on the mantle alongside our stockings, we still get caught up in the “Christmas spirit” and burn ourselves out trying to get it all done. And if we wake up on Christmas morning and find our stocking filled with less than everything we hoped for, boom. Instant blue Christmas.

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The first Christmas didn’t meet people’s expectations, either.

From the nature of the Old Testament prophecies about Christ, the majority of Israelites were expecting Jesus to come as a powerful leader who would free them from the political oppression they were under.  They couldn’t believe it when the One who claimed to be the promised Savior came in the form of a helpless baby, the son of a poor carpenter, from a town whose reputation was so humble that one of Jesus’ disciples said “Can anything good come from there?” So they crucified Him for blasphemy, not realizing that this One who was not what they expected had the power to exceed their wildest dreams.

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What makes the best Christmas ever?

The best Christmas ever was just over 2,000 years ago when the promised Messiah humbled Himself and came to earth as a baby to be Immanuel, God with us.  He came as the Light that the darkness could not overcome, full of truth and grace. He came to bridge the gap between God and man and make it possible for us to have peace with our Creator and a bright future in heaven. The perfect place to hang your hopes for the best Christmas ever is not a Christmas tree, but a cross. Hope in Jesus is hope without danger, for He will never fail us. {tweet that}

So if you’re sitting amidst a pile of presents trying to figure out how to make them look halfway decent and nothing is working out like you’d hoped (this is the voice of experience speaking), just breathe and let the pressure roll away. The best Christmas ever already happened, and all we have to do to celebrate it in style is to remember the One who came and rejoice in the greatest Christmas gift of all time: Jesus.

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